The Ario is a smart lamp that uniquely changes direction and color of light delivery like outdoor light, to help sync your body clock to your schedule automatically and keep you healthy. This can improve mood, concentration, weight management, and overall health. With its patent pending combination of features, Ario sets a high bar for other lighting companies to follow in seriously helping to keep people healthy.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Who are you and what do you do?
I’m an engineer by training and passion. What I like best is designing products to make people’s lives better.
I’m an engineer by training and passion.
What does a typical day in your life look like?
My wife and I are awakened gently by the simulated dawn of our Ario lamp, get ready for the day and have breakfast. As she heads off to work, I head for my office, these days to work to get the word out about our product and soon to get back to engineering. I may take a break for a walk or yoga, lunch and back to work. She and I will have dinner together and then back to work again until about 10pm. Throughout the day, the light in our home adjusts like the light outdoors.
Tell us something that most people don’t know about you
I am a steward to thousands of young evergreen trees and eight acres of wildlife habitat we are working to help grow into a forest.
How did you come up with the idea for your product and what made you “go for it?”
After making a career change from medical lighting products to treat infant jaundice to consulting, I discovered a HUGE body of science about light’s impact on health and the problems of indoor light. I also found that there are no products on the market that deliver truly healthy indoor lighting. I knew I could apply low cost technology to solve this problem and saw an irresistable opportunity.
What made you decide to go with crowdfunding (or venture capital)?
We’ve gone for both. Crowdfunding provides immediate social proof and orders, and venture capital, funding for development and sustained business growth.
What is the best decision you’ve ever made with your product (financial, emotional, educational) that led to the product we’re experiencing today?
Realizing I couldn’t do this alone, I decided to persist in finding brilliant partners to share the passion, vision and the work load in getting us to where we are today. At the time, it seemed like an impossible task. Deciding to work without salary for a few years and fund the early part of the project on our own was another good decision.
Where do you see your company or your company’s focus in 1-2 years?
Ario will grow to introduce newer forms of our lighting and expand our software to become a platform for connected healthy living in the home and other built spaces like the work place. We intend to integrate with other devices like thermostats, other lighting, and health trackers as a few examples.
If you could time travel back to day one of your startup and have 15min with your former self to communicate any lessons you’ve acquired with the intention of saving yourself mistakes and heartache, what would you tell yourself?
I would tell myself to grow the team a bit more, though this is hard when self funded. I would also tell myself to start growing our social network immediately. This is the most important fuel to a successful launch and the more the better!
I would tell myself to grow the team a bit more though this is hard when self funded. I would also tell myself to start growing our social network immediately.
Who has been the biggest influence on your life and work and why?
I’d have to say my wife, Paulette. She introduced me to the practice of mindfulness meditation and our guides, Steve Armstrong and Kamala Masters. Through self inquiry, I’ve discovered that relationships are the most important thing in life and learning to be kind brings the most contentment.
Any tips for aspiring entrepreneurs on how to facilitate a successful financing campaign?
Read like crazy about what it takes to build a successful one starting with Tim Ferriss’ blog on Hacking Kickstarter. Find successful campaigns similar to the one you want to run and reach out to the creators to get their advice. Most importantly, start building that network and collecting email addresses as soon as possible of people with whom you have a relationship. Ten thousand is not too many! Twenty thousand would be more than twice as good!!
What do you see as the biggest advancement in your technology sector over the next 5-10 years?
There really are several big advancements already well on the way that will have a big effect. These are the internet of things, big data, machine learning, and newer forms of more efficient tunable lighting like quantum dot and OLED technologies.
What do you see as the biggest risk in your technology sector over the next 5-10 years?
The biggest risk is in personal data management and security. As we allow how information about we use technology to help improve that technology, we create a tremendous window on our personal lives. How we keep that information secure while sharing it will continue to be a growing challenge.